The Medal for the War Wounded (French: Médaille des blessés de guerre) was originally a mere insignia in the form of an ribbon awarded for wounds received in the line of duty while facing an enemy. The insignia was established by the law of 11 December 1916, based on an idea by the nationalist writer Maurice Barrès. Although originally established as a temporary measure, the insignia survived for a century in some form or another. It could be awarded to wounded soldiers, prisoners of war, to World War II deportees and internees from the French resistance and to soldiers wounded in more recent conflicts. A variety of unofficial medals in the form of a red enamelled star suspended by the same ribbon appeared very early on and although tolerated for wear by the authorities, were not official until recently.
A provisional instruction of 14 April 2015 from the French Army High Command began the proceedings which were later ratified in the official decree n° 2016-1130 of 17 August 2016 making the Medal for the War Wounded a state decoration of the French Republic. A recent 2017 amendment further simplified the regulations of this award by allowing all past recipients to keep wearing it but strictly limiting any future award to military personnel.
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- Medal for war wounded, Combatant's issue
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